Working Connections Child Care (WCCC) helps eligible families pay for child care. When a family qualifies for child care subsidy benefits and chooses an eligible provider, the state pays a portion of the cost of child care. Parents may be responsible for a copayment to their provider each month.
- Copay Calculation Table - Effective October 1, 2021
- Child Care Subsidy Regional Map for Licensed Family Homes and Centers
When enrollment in WCCC is full, the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) maintains a waiting list to receive WCCC benefits. If your family qualifies for priority status, you will not go on the waitlist.
Families experiencing homelessness may be approved for up to 12 months to help resolve issues surrounding homelessness.
Basic Eligibility Requirements for Child Care Subsidy Benefits
- The child must be a U.S. citizen, legal resident, or otherwise eligible for federal benefits
- The family with whom the child resides must live in Washington state
- The family's income must be at or below 60% of the State Median Income (SMI) at application or 65% of SMI when reapplying
- The family must have resources under $1 million
- Child Care Subsidy helps pay for child care while the parent, or parents in a two-parent household, participate in an approved activity. Approved activities include:
- Employment or self-employed in legal, income-generating, taxable activities
- Education activities include:
- High school or high school equivalency programs for parents ages 21 and younger
- Attending community, technical, or tribal college full-time and seeking an associate or vocational degree
- Attending community, technical, or tribal colleges part-time and seeking an associate or vocational degree AND working 20 hours per week
- Activities approved under the parents WorkFirst or BFET plan
The maximum household income increases from 200% of the U.S. federal poverty level (FPL) to 60% of the State Median Income (SMI). The maximum monthly income limit by household size is listed below:
0 to 20% State Median Income
More than 20% to 36% State Median Income
More than 36% to 50% State Median Income
More than 50% to 60% State Median Income
Use the chart above to determine if your family may be eligible for WCCC and to determine your approximate copayment. (Example: If your household consists of yourself, your spouse, and two children, your household size is four. If your income is $4,100, your copayment would be $90 per month.)
The parent must complete the WCCC application and verification process.
- Families can apply by contacting the Child Care Subsidy Contact Center at 1-844-626-8687 or online at www.WashingtonConnection.org.
- DCYF gathers and reviews information to determine a family's eligibility.
- Families will need to provide DCYF with the name and phone number of the child care provider. You do not have to have a provider before applying for child care subsidy.
DCYF will need to verify the following information, as applicable. Some verification may be obtained using existing DCYF or state systems, or DCYF may request verification from families. All statements must contain a name, address, phone number, date, and signature.
|What may need to be verified? (if applicable)||What may be provided? Verification may include:|
|Residency or citizenship of children||DCYF uses internal systems. If information is not available within these systems, the family will need to provide a social security card, birth certificate, U.S. passport, or immigration documents.|
|Homelessness||DCYF compares the family's living situation with family records. When conflicting information is presented, DCYF will obtain verification from a reliable source. The reliable source must be aware of family's living situation and must be willing to attest under penalty of perjury.|
|Custody||Court order, signed statement from the parent(s), or a statement from a third party if unable to obtain verification from the parent(s).|
|Single parent status||Consumers may provide the declaration form (DCYF form 27-164) or a statement indicating the name and address of the other parent for each of the children OR attest under penalty of perjury that they are a single parent, the whereabouts of the other parent is unknown or that providing this information would cause fear of harm.|
|Household composition (everyone living in the household)||Completed landlord statement (DCYF form 16-238), current lease agreement, or signed statement from the homeowner.|
|Earned income||DCYF will attempt to verify using available systems. If information is not available electronically, DCYF may use wage stubs, payroll history, or an employer statement that the family lists the actual gross income and month it is received, including any tips, bonuses, or commissions.|
|Self-employment||Federal or state tax return, tax transcripts including all forms for the most current reporting year. If you use a state tax return and you use a state tax return and claim all business expenses, verification of expenses will be necessary. Verification would include a profit and loss with receipts or bank statements to support the amounts claimed.|
|Other income (social security income, supplemental security income, unemployment benefits, or any other income received by someone in your family)||DCYF will attempt to verify using available systems. If information is not available electronically, DCYF may use award letters or notifications from corresponding agencies to verify monthly amounts.|
|Child support||DCYF will attempt to verify using available systems. If information is not available electronically, DCYF may use a signed and dated statement from the non-custodial parent, including the amount and frequency of support, including a signature, date, and phone number where the non-custodial parent can be reached.
If support is ordered through another state, a statement verifying the amount and frequency of support, including a signature, date, and phone number if not printed from the state child support office.
When court-ordered, the consumer pays child support and shows in internal systems, verification of the court-ordered will be required, including verification of the actual amounts paid.
|Schooling and education||Copy of school registration and a written statement from a school employee verifying enrollment and the program.|
|Work-Study Participation||Statement from the college or case manager, including total hours awarded.|
|BFET participation||DCYF will use internal systems to verify current enrollment in an approved activity and the amount of time participating in this activity.|
|WorkFirst activity participants||DCYF will use internal systems to verify current enrollment in an approved activity and the amount of time participating in this activity.|
Finding Child Care
There are different provider options parents may choose to fit the needs of their family. Parents may choose from:
- Licensed or certified child care centers
- Licensed or certified family child care homes
- Unlicensed care, typically referred to as family, friend, or neighbor (FFN) child care
Licensed child care providers follow minimum licensing requirements set by Washington State to ensure children are in safe, healthy, and nurturing places.
If you are not sure where to find licensed child care providers, your local Child Care Aware Washington agency can help. Call 1-800-446-1114 for help.
You have a choice in finding quality early care and learning settings in Washington State.
- You Have a Choice! A Guide to Finding Quality Child Care
- For more information, go to the Find Child Care / Early Learning page
- Child Care Check is a search tool for you to get information about individual child care providers and early learning programs in Washington
Some families prefer to have a family, friend, or neighbor care for their child or provide care in the child's home. When you choose a child care provider who is exempt from licensing, you have extra responsibilities.
The provider you must be:
- 18 years of age or older
- A citizen or a legal resident of the United States
- Pass the DCYF background check. If care is provided in the provider's home, then anyone older than 16 who lives in the home must also pass a background check
- Physically and mentally healthy enough to meet all the needs of the child in care
- Someone other than the child's biological parent, step-parent, adoptive parent, legal guardian, in-loco parentis, or spouse of any of these individuals
- Meet the health and safety requirements in WAC 110-16-0025, 110-16-0030, and 110-16-0035 if not related to the child
Note: In-home providers who are relatives and are paid child care subsidies to care for children receiving WCCC benefits, may not receive those benefits for their children during the hours in which they provide subsidized child care.
Parents of children with special needs may qualify for higher rates to help pay for additional supports needed. Further information is provided below.
Families or parents with questions about their copayment may call the DCYF Child Care Contact Center at 1-844-626-8687.
Child care providers with questions about a family's copay may contact the DCYF Provider Help Line by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 1-800-394-4571.